The two short entries below were originally inspired by travels during early autumn, 2014–the first by a bicycle trip with my husband along the “Great Allegheny Passage,” a rail trail that runs from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD; the second by participation in the People’s Climate March in New York City, along with hundreds of thousands of others. Each strained the limits of what I could put on a scenic postcard. Next year I’ll try for more brevity…
Rights of Passage –by Jinny Batterson
Our two-wheeled GAP journeys,
Past the railway stations and coal tailings
That testify to an industrial-era interlude,
Sometimes still startle grazing deer or turkeys.
Along the higher ridges, wind turbines hum.
Trees’ golden leaves glide under our tires.
The Casselman, then Youghiogheny
Tumble and drift toward further junctions,
Admonishing all following this Appalachian
Autumn rite: they need no one’s permission
To rejoin the sea.
Changing Seasons –by Jinny Batterson
After summer’s blaze, the leaves finally turn.
Along New York City’s Avenue of the Americas
Children cavort under a cloth sun replica.
Parents, grandparents hoist banners:
“We have SOL-u-tions.”
The pattern of seasons changes.
Our oily, edgy arrogance
None too soon succeeded by
Humus, humility, happiness.